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Slender's Ghost

William Shenstone 1714 (Halesowen) – 1763 (Halesowen)



Vide Shakspeare.

Beneath a churchyard yew,
Decay'd and worn with age,
At dusk of eve methought I spied
Poor Slender's Ghost, that whimpering cried,
'O sweet! O sweet Anne Page!'

Ye gentle Bards! give ear,
Who talk of amorous rage,
Who spoil the lily, rob the rose,
Come learn of me to weep your woes:
'O sweet! O sweet Anne Page!'

Why should such labour'd strains
Your formal Muse engage?
I never dreamt of flame or dart,
That fired my breast or pierced my heart,
But sigh'd, 'O sweet Anne Page!'

And you! whose lovesick minds
No med'cine can assuage,
Accuse the leech's art no more,
But learn of Slender to deplore;
'O sweet! O sweet Anne Page!'

And ye! whose souls are held,
Like linnets in a cage;
Who talk of fetters, links, and chains,
Attend and imitate my strains;
'O sweet! O sweet Anne Page!'

And you! who boast or grieve,
What horrid wars ye wage,
Of wounds received from many an eye,
Yet mean as I do, when I sigh,
'O sweet! O sweet Anne Page!'

Hence every fond conceit
Of shepherd or of sage;
'Tis Slender's voice, 'tis Slender's way,
Expresses all you have to say,
'O sweet! O sweet Anne Page!'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Shenstone

William Shenstone was an English poet and one of the earliest practitioners of landscape gardening through the development of his estate, The Leasowes. more…

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